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Oklahoma Arts Council Announces Investment of $3 Million in Relief Grant Awards for State Arts and Cultural Industry

OKLAHOMA CITY (December 16, 2020) – Nearly 170 organizations serving 48 Oklahoma communities will receive a share of $3 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding made available to the arts and cultural sector by Oklahoma Governor J. Kevin Stitt. Administered as Oklahoma Arts and Cultural Industry Relief Grants by the Oklahoma Arts Council, the funding will bolster organizations whose arts programs are vital to economic development, quality of life, and education in Oklahoma.

The one-time grants were available statewide to nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, museums, historical societies, colleges and universities, public libraries, tribal nations, and departments of city and county government that present arts programming. The funding must be used toward eligible expenses resulting from the pandemic including payroll for staff members serving as COVID-19 coordinators, distance learning, interruption of business, personal protective equipment (PPE), disinfectant and sanitization, public safety measures, and other costs to safely open facilities to the public.

Grant amounts were approved by the Governor-appointed Oklahoma Arts Council board during a meeting on December 15. Funding was prioritized for organizations with arts-based missions that serve geographically isolated areas, under-resourced communities, culturally diverse populations, and underrepresented groups.

“Since the Governor’s announcement of this investment in our industry three weeks ago, Oklahoma Arts Council staff has worked round-the-clock to ensure the funding could save jobs and stabilize as many nonprofits and other essential organizations across the state arts and cultural industry as possible,” said Oklahoma Arts Council Executive Director Amber Sharples. “The grant awards we have announced today are a meaningful part of what we hope will be a commitment by state leaders to assuring the long-term health of the state arts sector as it fights to bounce back from the pandemic.”

Oklahoma’s creative sector, which relies heavily on in-person fundraising and event-generated earned income has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. A report released in July by Richard Florida, noted scholar and author of “The Rise of the Creative Class,” estimated pandemic-related losses of 19,000 jobs and $606 million in sales in Oklahoma’s creative sector, with the performing and fine arts being disproportionately affected.

While the arts have been at the forefront of innovating and adopting technology in their efforts to continue providing Oklahomans with arts education and access to the arts during the pandemic, the inherent nature of the arts to bring people together forced organizations to be among the first to close their doors, and it dictates that they be among the last to reopen.

Oklahoma Arts and Cultural Industry Relief Grants were awarded to:

108 Contemporary
3rd Act Theatre Company
Aalim Dance Academy
Ada Public Library
Afrikanation Artists Organization
ahha Tulsa
Allied Arts of Oklahoma
American Banjo Museum
American Theatre Company
Arcadia Historical and Preservation Society
Ardmore Little Theatre
Artist Incubation
Arts Council Oklahoma City
Artspace at Untitled
Asian District Cultural Association
Barthelmes Conservatory (The bART)
Bartlesville Community Center
Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra
Black Liberated Arts Center
Bring Back the Music
Bristow Historical Society
Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
Capitol Hill Main Street
Carpenter Square Theatre
Central Oklahoma Dance Company
Chamber Music Tulsa
Charles B. Goddard Center for Visual and Performing Arts
Chickasha Community Theatre
Children's Arts Network
Children's Musical Theatre of Bartlesville
Chisholm Trail Arts Council
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center Association
Choregus Productions
Cimarron Circuit Opera Company
City of Guymon
City of Lawton
City of Sallisaw
City of Stillwater
Claremore Museum of History
Clark Youth Theatre
Cotton County Art Council
Dance Maker
deadCENTER Film Festival
Duncan Little Theatre
Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma
Enid Symphony Association
Eufaula Area Arts Council
Fab Lab Tulsa
First Americans Museum
Freedom West Community Development Corporation
Friends of Pawnee Bill Ranch Association
Friends of Rentiesville Blues
Friends of the Murrell Home
Gaslight Theatre
Gilcrease Museum
Grand Lake Festivals
Greatest Stories Never Told
Greenwood Community Development Corporation
Greenwood Cultural Center
Grove Community Playmakers
Harmony Project Tulsa
Healthy Living & Fitness
Historical Society of the US District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
Holdenville Society of Painters And Sculptors
Horton Records LTD
Indian Women's Pocahontas Club
Jazz In June
Kiowa Tribe
Lawton Community Theatre
Lawton Philharmonic Society
LIFE Senior Services
Locust Grove Public Library
Lyric Theatre Of Oklahoma
Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art
McKnight Center for the Performing Arts
Metropolitan School of Dance
Miami Downtown Redevelopment Authority
Modella Art Gallery
Murray State College
Muskogee Art Guild
Muskogee Community Band Association
Muskogee Little Theatre
Mustang Public Library
NAMRON Players Theatre
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Norman Community Choral Society
Norman Cultural Connection
Norman Music Alliance
Norman Philharmonic
Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College
Northeastern State University
OK City Chorus, Sweet Adelines International
OK Mozart
Oklahoma Arts Institute
Oklahoma Centennial Botanical Garden
Oklahoma Children's Theatre
Oklahoma City Ballet
Oklahoma City Community College
Oklahoma City Girls Art School
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Oklahoma City Philharmonic Society
Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre
Oklahoma Community Theatre Association
Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center
Oklahoma History Center
Oklahoma International Dance Festival
Oklahoma Israel Exchange (OKIE)
Oklahoma Museums Association
Oklahoma Music Educators Association
Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park
Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival
Oklahoma State University
Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition
Oklahoma Writers' Federation
Oklahomans for the Arts
Opry Heritage Foundation of Oklahoma
Osage Nation
Oscar Jacobson Foundation
Painted Sky Opera
Paseo Arts Association
Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma
Perpetual Motion Modern Dance
Philbrook Museum of Art
Plaza District Association
Poetic Justice
Pollard Theatre Company
Ponca City Art Association
Ponca Playhouse
Poncan Theatre Company
Prairie Dance Theatre
Price Tower Arts Center
Race Dance Company
Red Carpet Community Theatre
Red Dirt Relief Fund
Red Earth
River Parks Foundation
Rodeo Cinema Foundation
Rogers State University
Scissortail Park Foundation
Scissortail Productions
Seminole Nation Historical Society
Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art
Shortgrass Arts and Humanities Council
Special Care
Southern Prairie Library System
Standing Bear Native American Foundation
Stillwater Museum Association
Talihina Development Initiative
The Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma
The Depot
Theatre North
Theatre Tulsa
Tulsa Air and Space Museum
Tulsa Area Youth Symphony Association
Tulsa Ballet
Tulsa Chorale
Tulsa Community College
Tulsa Oktoberfest
Tulsa Opera
Tulsa Performing Arts Center Trust
Tulsa Symphony Orchestra
University of Central Oklahoma
Western Trail Historical Society
Will Rogers Memorial Foundation
Windsong Association
Woodward Arts Council
Woody Guthrie Coalition


About the Oklahoma Arts Council
The Oklahoma Arts Council is the official state agency for the support and development of the arts. The agency’s mission is to lead in the advancement of Oklahoma’s thriving arts industry. The Oklahoma Arts Council provides approximately 350 grants to nearly 200 organizations in communities statewide each year, organizes professional development opportunities for the state's arts and cultural industry, and manages the art collections at the Oklahoma state Capitol. Additional information is available at

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